If you're having trouble deciphering the title of this blog, you may want to freshen up your online lingo. Grammar as we once knew it is being replaced by acronyms, a far cry from the origins of online communication.
My first relationship was in 1996, at the ripe young age of 13. The majority of it took place in the virgin halls of an AOL chat room. I went to junior high with her, but was too nervous to approach her. I resorted to thinking of subjects to talk about, and then taking my time to type them out as we chatted. It made me seem very thoughtful.
This was only a glimpse.
Online dating is now a larger business than porn. We look to the Internet for our love solutions. Instead of circumstantially (and romantically) meeting someone in real life, we fine tune our search through thousands of possible mates instantly to speed up the whole fate thing.
It has worked for millions, and has now become a completely acceptable way of meeting people. So that's nice, but what's next?
You guessed it, cyborg relationships. It makes sense that a being with a superior intelligence would want to "be with" another that they could relate to. Their entire relationship might involve the sharing of feelings (if they still exist), and they most likely would be able to communicate without speaking words or even making physical contact.
What happens when robots gain a conscience? Are they going to want to be with other conscious robots? Will they have a desire to be with one other robot, or will they be so intimately woven into each other networks and systems that relationships as we know them will be a thing of the past?
What if a robot gets turned on by a cyborg? Would they be able to reproduce? (This might bring new meaning to the term lube.) What about a person and a robot, or a person and a cyborg? Really, these are the important questions that we need to ask ourselves. You think same-sex marriage is a big deal? Wait until Joe the Robot wants to take out your teenage daughter!
There is evidence of humans being intimately connected with computers. Just look at people and their cell phones. Wait until censors improve, and the computer recognizes the user's touch as a real connection. Will the electronic device feel as though they are connected? Do they already on some subconscious plane?
Think about this next time before you throw your cell phone down in a fit of rage, they just might remember it...
Here's where we are now. When two chatbots, meant to hold conversation with humans, are put together, this is the result. It might be a year or two before these chatbots form real conversations, instead of merely replicating human speech. Nonetheless, the potential is amazing.
Evolution is a funny thing, and often times difficult to recognize when you are in it. Take a look around the world and notice how much we rely on our devices. A mere 10 years ago, there was no Facebook, no smartphones, and no tablets. It's all happening now, and we need to stay aware of the changes as they occur, so that we can make important choices about humanity along the way, rather than being swept along mindlessly in the raging torrent of technology.
Then again, I did see a cute robot the other day. Bring it on.
Follow Zach Puchtel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ZachPuchtel